Raden and Rhinestone obidome

I’m not sure who makes these particular raden (mother-of-pearl) obidome, but there’s a huge glut of them on eBay right now. Plenty of different shapes and styles, but all large pieces of mother-of-pearl decorated with Swarovski crystal accents. One seller has them up for Buy It Now prices of approximately $40, but another keeps putting them up as regular auctions with a starting bid of one cent. I bid on a few of them on a whim and got outbid, but since I wasn’t particularly attached I wasn’t upset when I lost. Then this beauty came up. To me, it looked like a moon. I wanted it. I needed it. I bid high, and won it for a whopping ninety-eight cents. The shipping was an impossible two dollars. What a bargain!

It adds the perfect amount of sparkle to an outfit, and even came in a fancy-schmancy black velvet box. Screw diamonds – rhinestones are a girl’s best friend 😉

I’ve already worn it once, with my crazy vintage outfit at the ToyCon.

Geta Makeover

Geta Makeover!

I purchased these geta a while back from my friend Amelie, because I’d been looking for a pair of slightly dressier geta I could wear with vintage or casual kimono. The straps were painfully tight and an akward shade of green velour that didn’t really go well with anything I owned.

Naomi sent me a wonderful box full of random goodies, and in it was this pair of gorgeous black pinstripe hanao. They’re wonderfully subtle and iki in my mind, and perfect for what I had in mind for the geta in the first place.

I’d lengthened the hanao on several of my pairs of zori before, so I figured I had enough experience to throw caution to the wind and go all Mad Scientist on the geta. There are a lot of images here, so I’ve made them smaller than usual. Click on them for larger sizes if you are curious 🙂

Phase 1: Lay the geta, bottoms-up, on a convenient flat clean surface.

Phase 2: Using a pair of small pliers (I used some sturdy jewelers pliers), pull the staple out from the flap under the toes and carefully undo the knotted cords.

Phase 3: Stripped geta bases with no hanao.

Phase 4: Insert the hanao back into the toe-hole, tie it around the metal pin, and carefully hammer the staple back into the rubber flap, making sure the cords are covered.

Phase 5: Thread the ends of the hanao into the back holes and tie the strings together in a tight knot and then tie the excess in repeated square knots around itself.

Repeat for the second geta, and voila, sexy and stylish new look.

While working on them, I noticed the black lacquer had chipped off one of the toes. This was simple to fix with a bottle of black nail polish.

And here I am wearing them with some delightfully obnoxious tabi!

Eventually I would like to replace the rubber soles on the bottom, and will share my adventures with that when the time comes. The whole process only took me about half an hour, and I think it was absolutely worthwhile. I now have a pair of well-fitting and stylish black geta, and the knowledge that I can totally do this again if I ever find another pair that’s not in fabulous shape. I hope seeing the procedure encourages you to try it as well if it’s something you were considering but were feeling overwhelmed by!

This is Hallowe’en, everybody make a scene!

I was invited to a party on October 30th this year, and I figured it was high time I broke out my Gothic Landscape houmongi. I’d originally wanted to wear it with my crow obi but I still haven’t had the opportunity to repair it. Oops! I figured in the spirit of all things Creepy and Spooky, I’d see about pairing it up with my spider obi instead. I’ve been hesitant about this combo since the kimono and the obi are so close in colour, but my salvation arrived in the mail on the Thursday before the party, in a boxful of shigoki obi. A splash of red was the perfect way to visually separate the two pieces as well as tie in the leaves on the obi. It also helped that one of the shigoki had tassels in the exact same shade as the glorious spiderweb haneri from Naomi.

I decided to further emphasize the spooky theme of the ensemble with accessories – I made myself a cute little hairband with black feathers, a raggedy purple “veil” and a sparkly little spider. I used some of the same tulle from the veil to make a big puffy bow to stick in my obi. Unfortunately, I spent nearly two hours in the car before I was able to get these photos, so my obi musubi has gotten sort of squished and lopsided 🙁

Having fun (after a few drinks) with some of the awesome decorations.

A close up of the amazing spider haneri

I even did my nails to suit the theme. Orange with black spiders and rhinestones! Again, I had fun wit the decorations for this pic

The party was a huge blast. Unfortunately, I had to get out of the kimono around 2 in the morning. I’d been drinking and going to the bathroom was starting to become a challenge! It also started snowing pretty profusely that night and I was worried about ruining my kimono on the way home.

Montreal ToyCon October 2010

So as some of you may know, I work in just about the coolest toy store in the universe and twice a year we organze a toy convention. I usually use it as an excuse to wear kimono, and this year was no exception. I’ve been wanting to wear all these pieces for a long time now, and I’m so glad everything came together so well. The kimono is way too small so I could not swing an ohashori, but it’s a casual enough outfit that I think it’s sort of irrelevant.

I decided to pair up the purple yabane I bought last year in Boulder with the meisen haori I bought this year. I paired them up with black and yellow accessories; a black obi with yellow, purple, and orange karabana, the same yellow shibori obiage and hakata obijime I wear with pretty much everything lately, a pretty black haneri from Naomi, crazy black weiner dog tabi from Kansai_Gal, and my new moon-shaped obidome. I feel like this is a very cohesive outfit, every colour is echoed on at least one other item, so it all ties together well.

And a close-up of the best tabi ever:

If anyone needs further evidence that my job is indeed incredibly awesome, one of the cosplayers at the con allowed me to wear his handmade Ghostbusters Proton Pack and take a few photos. It was surprisingly comfy, even with the obi!

In the dealer’s room, I found an awesome little bit of nostalgia – the original Crystal Swift Wind, She-Ra’s mangical flying unicorn/pegasus. I had one of these when I was a little girl, but the plastic was thin and brittle, and someone (most likely me) stepped on her at some point and she shattered. Unfortunately, she was way out of my budget for the day, especially for a used toy, so I had to say my goodbyes. But not before getting a picture of me pouting with her.

Thanks for looking! If you’d like to see pictures of the convention itself, there is an album on my Facebook that is viewable by following that link.

Because I can’t go anywhere without buying something!

Thank you to Rick and the team at Websytz for getting my technical issues sorted out!

I recently got back from a wonderful week in Boulder, Colorado. It was really nice spending time with my friends, catching up with people, and just enjoying what I’ve truly come to believe is my second home.

Of course, I had to make a visit to Janine at the Vintage Kimono Showroom. I had no plans to buy anything, but she had one incredibly amazing haori and an obi that I’d admired the last time I was there, and somehow they magically ended up coming home with me. I also had the fortune of ordering Wearing Propaganda – Textiles on the Home Front and having it shipped to my best friend to save money, so that came home with me too. I’ll be doing a review soon. But I digress; onto the amazing stuff I bought.

Pink bellflower hakata obi


I actually first found this obi the last time I was there but somehow talked myself out of it. When I saw that it was still waiting for me, I had to cave in. I love hakata of all kinds, but especially the sort that’s not geometric, because it’s so much less common.

Eye-searingly awesome meisen spider kiku haori

I finally have meisen that fits me! So yes, admittedly it’s a haori and not a kimono, but I don’t care. It’s vibrant, it’s tacky, it’s amazing, and I love it. I have no idea what I’m going to pair this one up with, but I really don’t care. I couldn’t let it escape my grubby little clutches.

I’d originally found a subtle purple and cream striped haori while at the showroom but when Janine brought this beauty out I just couldn’t say no. It’s not something I will ever find again, and I could not pass up the opportunity. The lining is also adorable, tiny little kokeshi dolls.


I also came home to a box of goodies from Naomi, so I’ll be sharing the contents of that soon enough.